Blame is how you become “lame”, maybe not literally but maybe literally. B-lame. Be lame when you blame. Blame is the biggest lie you can tell yourself. I am where I am because she (or he): did, said, took, stole, or fill in the blank _____________. OR it is what was not done that you feel should have been done.
A Very Personal Story
I always thought my father should have helped me more, particularly when I felt I could do nothing and that I was powerless. From the first grade to the sixth, there was a boy who bullied me daily, or almost daily. The boy’s father was about 5’-6” and my father was 6’-1 ½” tall. My father had been a baseball pitcher at Marshall University and turned down the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had scouted him. I figured my father could throw a punch, if he had to. I begged my father on multiple occasions to tell the bully’s father to make him stop. My father said that I should fight back but I was too scared, since I was a lot smaller than the bully.
At a later point, my father said he would talk to the boy’s father but I think he never did and the verbal and physical abuse continued until one day. I always showed up early at little league football practice and so did Mike. In the second year of our team, he got into the habit of using me for a “tackling dummy”, knocking me down over and over again. My telling him to stop did nothing. It didn’t hurt too much, since we both were wearing pads and helmets, but it was demeaning.
One day I got mad. I hadn’t planned anything. On this day, Mike knocked me down, as usual. I got up and walked over to a tree and tore a small branch off of it and started swinging it at him and hitting him with it. Mike started yelling at me and asking me if I was crazy. I kept swinging until he started running from me. This was the end of the bullying.
Did I blame my father for not helping me? Yes. Did I resent him? Yes. Was I “the effect” of my father? Yes. Did I feel that he cared for me as much as I would have liked him to? No. I felt that I was a problem for my father. I blamed him, though. He was too demanding and too controlling and never had much good to say about me. He did most things better than what I could do, except for a couple of things. My blaming him crippled me, but not in the physical sense. He had all the power and I had none. This is what blaming someone does. It has repercussions and ramifications, far reaching and beyond where one would suppose.
The most insidious thing about blame is that it is a squatter. It takes up residence in your mind and takes over everything. It is behind your not starting something. It is behind your lack of momentum or perseverance. It is the cause for your not finishing things because you are not the cause; you are the effect. How does that feel? Not so good, right? Well, don’t blame me. Blaming yourself also is not the answer because it doesn’t matter who you blame because when you blame, it makes you lame.
Blaming means that you “had nothing to do with it”. It means that someone else had the power and did the action and that you were incapable or that you simply refused to get involved or to play a part or to act effectively. The real reason can be found in the lies you tell yourself or in the lies in your value systems, the ones which you use to rationalize and justify your current condition in life.
Regret is that coulda, woulda, shoulda thing. Some people say: could’ve, would’ve, should’ve and others think they are hearing: could of, would of, should of, but that is just a false interpretation of an illegal contraction, having been made of: could have, would have, and should have.
Abandoning semantics, we move forward now. Regret is the sorrow and guilt composite of the errors of commission or of omission. What we did that we think is bad or what we didn’t do that we shoulda oughta did is the basis for regret. Regret seems to be short-lived but recurring in our minds. We kind of shove it away from our consciousness, to avoid the pain of its thorns, darts, and arrows. Regret hurts. It could also be a clue as to what to do. One thing is to be an author of your story and to rewrite it. Literally. Re write it as it would be if you would not have caused regret as your outcome. Before you start, just remember that acts of omission or commission are not the same thing as accidents. There are accidents and some can be prevented but some cannot. It doesn’t let you off the hook but it also doesn’t put you on the hook, unfairly.
Write your story as it should have been, learn from it, look for ways to not repeat your mistakes and put those into practice. Why? If you are stuck in your past, you will never move fast. You’ll be slow or simply “no go”. So, yo! Write, so!
Shame is as bad of a game as blame. It’s also Blame’s first cousin or daughter or son. It can be an integral part of blame. It can help feed blame or regret. So, how do we forget, or must we? The Three Musketeers! The trinity of uselessness, of an evil synergism designed to destroy happiness and hope and turn you into a dope are: blame, regret, and shame. It’s a family of despair. It will stop you from going from here to there. It can get you so that you do not care. It fuels ignorance and apathy and for it, have no sympathy or empathy and don’t cavort with the enemy. Don’t enlist it, just insist it ceases and desists because if it persists, you’re done and it has won. Make a choice. Raise your voice.
You can work on eradicating the trinity of failure infinity or you can just change your mind and pay a little whack-a-mole, if one raises its ugly head. Kill it good and make it dead. It had a purpose long ago but it’s outlived that one; now it’s a foe. All you need is to let go. If you can’t do so, we’ve got the knives to cut the ropes and end your strife. Today is the best time to start your life.
Stillness. Motionlessness. Absolute zero. No molecular motion. It’s an incomplete description and an inaccurate one of zero degrees Kelvin. Still, it mimics what we mimic as we reflect the laws of physics with our activities, or the lack thereof. “An object at rest tends to stay at rest…” Forget the rest of that law of inertia for a minute. Staying at rest doesn’t mean that all inner motion or thought has ceased. An object can appear to be at rest, but it’s only in relationship to other objects. We’re never truly at rest because we are on a rotating sphere, revolving around a star and as a solar system, we are moving in a galaxy, which is also moving through space and at an astounding speed. So, where is the truth in our motionlessness? It is just another lie or a pretense.
Go. Do. Start. Continue. Rest. Repeat.